National Neonatal Audit Programme – RDMA20 Case Study

Published: 18 Dec 2020

The NNAP team works very closely with their parent representatives and this blog highlights the benefits of working practices during lockdown and how it improved accessibility for interested parents to be involved with examples of outputs and impact throughout 2020.

Written by Jessica Ellis, NNAP Project Manager. This post was initially submitted for the Richard Driscoll Memorial Award 2020.


The NNAP has a long history of PPI embedded within our approach to our work. For example, we produce unit posters which show an NNAP unit’s results and what the unit is doing in response, to improve their results.  This improves confidence in the quality of care provided.  We also have a Twitter page where we engage with parents who may have questions about the NNAP and what we do. For transparency, we also have an NNAP site, NNAP Online (, which enables any interested party to view and compare NNAP results across regions and units for the previous data year. In turn, this increases engagement with the NNAP.

From March 2020, in response to Covid-19 NNAP switched to exclusively online meetings. This was a big change for the project as we usually have several in-person meetings with external partners each week. Surprisingly, this has had a marked positive impact on the audit, as it has allowed more members to attend each meeting. Our attendance rate has never been higher!

The move to online meetings has been particularly positive for our parent members.  Several of our parent representatives have expressed that they were pleased about not having to arrange childcare and saving valuable time, by eliminating the need to spend a day in London. This has allowed them to contribute to meetings that they may have previously declined to attend. During some meetings, our parents have even been able to dip in and out to attend to their children’s needs. As such, the NNAP meetings have been felt to be an increasingly inclusive space.

We have also been able to arrange impromptu meetings with our parent representatives, which would not have been so easy to do face-to-face. This allowed for brilliant discussion regarding our parent measures, which we hope will improve the robustness of measures in future. Having our parent representatives influence our measures in this way really helps us to get a sense of what level of service parents expect, to feel comfortable and informed at what can be a most stressful point in their lives.

Annually, the NNAP holds a photo competition for pictures of children to be included in our Your Baby’s Care leaflet and for the annual report cover. We have had over 90 entries this year. This is our highest ever total and we held a meeting with our parent members and representatives from BLISS to vote for the finalists. Parental involvement continues to enhance the NNAP’s outputs. This year, in response to feedback and in collaboration with our parents, we have included a glossary in our Your Baby’s Care leaflet in order to increase accessibility of language.

The NNAP is lucky to have enthusiastic and informed parent representatives involved in our audit, and in the future we will continue to hold virtual meetings with them, as this has been so beneficial to both the NNAP and our parents’ schedules and ability to contribute. We will also continue to listen and incorporate the feedback from parents into the NNAP, wherever possible.